India Informative
 
 
 
India is a country with diverse physical attributes, rich cultural heritage and eventful ancient history. Tourism plays a major role in showcasing this great country to the rest of the world. Of late, there has been significant initiative in promoting tourism even in remotest corners of the country.

Indian subcontinent exhibits imprints of varied geological processes through ages and is a storehouse of interesting geological features. Geological Survey of India has already enlisted some of those locales as National Geological Monuments. It is imperative that the Tourist Map of India would be greatly enriched by the inclusion of these geological monuments and alike, so that the visitors from the country and abroad can have an insight in the real past - the formation of the subcontinent, the orogeny, the palaeoenvironment and the exotic collection of paleo - flora and fauna.

Geological Survey of India has undertaken the responsibility of protection and promotion of such features and has declared 26 such sites, located in different parts of the country, as National geological Monuments.
 
 
 
 
Geological Site
 
FOSSIL PARKS
Marine Gondwana Park
Fossil Wood Parks
Siwalik Fossil Park
Stromatolite Parks
 
ROCK MONUMENTS
Peninsular Gneiss
Columnar Basalt
Pillow Lava
Pyroclastic Rocks
Nepheline Syenite
Barr Conglomerate
Welded Tuff
Charnockite
 
GEOLOGICAL MARVELS
Lonar Lake
Eddy Current Markings
Natural Arch
Sendra Granite
 
OTHER MONUMENTS
Stratigraphic Significance
Economic Significance
 
 

 
Marine Gondwana Fossil Park

Marine Gondwana Fossil Park at Manendragarh, Sarguja district, Chattisgarh is an unique exposure of fossiliferous marine Permian(280 – 240 Ma) rocks of Talchir Formation belonging to Gondwana Supergroup. It is exposed for a length of about one km upstream to the confluence of Hasdeo River and Hasia nala. The marine fauna is represented by the dominance of pelecypods/ lamellibranchs like Eurydesma and Aviculopecten within shale, besides Bryozoans, Crinoids and forminifers.
The area can be approached by road from Nagpur via Jabalpur (NH-7), Katni, Shahdol, Burhar, Anupur and Kotma (SH-14). The area is located on the right bank of Hasdeo River, near the railway bridge between milestone 937 and 938 of the Anuppur – Chirmiri branch of Southeastern Railway and about 2.5 km southeast of Manendragarh railway station near Ammakherwa village.
The fossil park can be visited round the year except rainy season, when the fossiliferous horizon is flooded by Hasdeo river.

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Fossil Wood Parks

Akal Fossil Wood Park, Jaisalmer District, Rajasthan is a wonder for the tourists who know that Jaisalmer as a part of the great Thar desert. The petrified wood carries signature of the luxuriant forests in a warm and humid climate, bordering the sea some 180 m.y. ago. The 21 hectar Fossil Park contains about a dozen fossil wood logs lying horizontal in random orientation. The longest specimen is 13.4 m x 0.9 m. The fossils are of petrophyllum, ptyllophyllum, equisetitis species and dicotyledonous wood and gastropod shells of Lower Jurassic period.
The area is located near Akal, 18 km SE from Jaisalmer on the NH-15.

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National Fossil Wood Park, Tiruvakkarai, Villupuram District, Tamilnadu contains 200 fossil trees ranging in length from 3-15 m and upto 5 m in girth are seen lying horizontally embdedded in Cuddalore Sandstone of Mio-Pliocene age (Ca 20 m.y.). It is located 1 km east of Tiruvakkarai village and lies 155 km SSW of Chennai following N.H. 45 upto Kutteripattu via Tindivanam. The Kutteripattu – Pondicherry road passes through the temple town of Mailam which is a famous pilgrim centre. It can also be approached from Pondicherry.

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National Fossil Wood Park in Sattanur, Perambalur District, Tamilnadu contains large trunks of petrified trees of Upper Cretaceous age (100 m.y). The trees belong to conifers (non-flowering) that dominated the land vegetation during the period. The fossilised tree trunk at Sattanur measures over 18 m in length.
It is situated about 700 m north of the village which can be approached by NH-45 connecting Chennai with Tiruchchirapalli upto Siruvachchur village. From Siruvachchur an unmetalled road connects Sattanur village which is about 14 km eastward.

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Siwalik Fossil Park

Siwalik Fossil Park, Saketi, Sirmur District, Himachal Pradesh contains rich collection of 2.5 million years old vertebrate fossils from Siwaliks. It covers an area of about 1.5 sq. km at Saketi, in the Markanda valley of Sirmur district, H.P. and was built to check indiscriminate destruction of fossil bones. Some of these fossils are in possession of the British Museum, London, American Museum of Natural History, New York, Indian Museum, Calcutta and elsewhere. The park displays life-size fiberglass models of six of the prehistoric animals that lived in the area 1 to 1.5 million year ago. The animals exhibit are giant land tortoise, gharial, four horned giraffe, sabre-toothed tiger, large tusked elephant and hipopolamid A large and rare collection of vertebrate fossils recovered from Siwalik hills in Saketi and adjacent areas has been displayed in a field museum in the park. The site has been developed to a panorama of Plio – Pleistocene period (Ca 2.5 million years) through massive aforestation.
It is about five km northeast of Kala Amb on Kala Amb-Bikramabad road and 22 km SW of Nahan, the district headquarter of Sirmur district, H.P.

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Stromatolite Parks

Stromatolite Park, Bhojunda, Chittaurgarh District, Rajasthan is an exposure within the massive Bhagwanpura Limestone of the Lower Vindhyan age. Stromatolites are structures produced by blue-green algae, which through their filaments, attract and bond carbonate particles forming a mat. They are stratiform, columnar and nodular structures in carbonate rocks resulting from the combination of life activity and sediment trapping and binding ability of algal assemblages and preying bacteria. They form generally in shallow water where tides bring floating sedimentary material continuously and make it flow through carbonate particles. Stromatalites are known as impression of one of the earliest form of life on earth.
The best exposures of the stromatolites in Stromatolite Park is near Bhojunda village, about 6 km SW of Chittaurgarh city on either side of the Chittaurgarh – Udaipur State Highway and adjacent to the Sheep Rearing Farm.

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Stromatolite Park, Jhamarkotra, Udaipur District, Rajasthan is the largest & richest deposit of phosphorite associated with stromatolite. It is another site preserving evidences of early life on the earth. The stromatolites occurs over a strike length of 15 km in rock phosphate within Precambrian Aravalli Supergroup of rocks. The rock phosphate occurs in dolomitic limestone associated with stromatolites appearing in grey to bluish grey colour shades and in variable forms and shape.
The area can be approached from Udaipur, 25 km southeast on Udaipur – Salumbar road linking Jhamerashwara temple which is about 500 m left side of the road.


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Peninsular Gneiss

Peninsular Gneiss National Monument at Lalbagh, Bengaluru, Karnataka. Lalbagh is one of the most celebrated botanical gardens in the city of Bangalore. One of the four Towers to restrict the city limits was erected by Magadi Kempgowada on Lalbag hills.
The monument is located in the southern part of Bangalore the capital city of Karnataka state, India and is easily approachable by road.
Gneisses and related granitoids constitute one of the most abundant rocktypes exposed on earth.

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The Lalbagh hill is composed of dark biolite gneiss of granitic to granodioritic composition containing streaks of biolite. Vestiges of older rocks are seen in the form of enclaves within the gneiss.
Peninsular Gneiss of the region is dated 2500 to 3400 million years that accreted in three major episodes, i.e. 3.4 Ga, 3.3-3.2 Ga and 3.0-2.9 Ga. The quarries of Lalbagh are of great importance for researches on earth sciences towards evolution of the terrain.


 

 
Columnar Basalt

Columnar Basaltic Lava, Coconut Island (St. Mary's Islands), Udupi District, Karnataka displays majestic array of multi-faced columns developed in the basalts of Deccan Trap. These marvelous structures, called Columnar Joints in geological parlance are nature's exquisite handiwork. The geometrical form of the rock mosaic resembles the work of an expert sculptor.

The Deccan Trap, evolved due to vast outpouring of hot molten basaltic lava in the western part of India during Cretaceous – Eocene time (about 60 million years ago) are now present as flat topped hills and step like terraces.

St. Mary's Island are a tiny group of four picturesque islands situated off the west coast of India near Malpe, a small hamlet about 6 km west of Udupi, the district headquarters. The Udupi town is about 60 km WNW of Mangalore (nearest Airport). It is also linked to Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram by the West Coast Railway.

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Pillow Lava

Pillow Lava, Maradihalli, Chitradurga District, Karnataka, hosted within Chitradurga schist belt of Dharwar Group, is one of the best of its kind in the world. They are formed when hot molten lava erupts under water and solidifies in the form of roughly spherical or rounded pillow-shape. The lava gets chilled so suddenly that part of the flow separates into discrete rounded bodies a few feet or less in size. This pillow lava has been dated 2500 million years.
Maradihalli is 16 km southeast of Chitradurga town and 4 km north of Ayamangala village, on the NH-4 (Bangalore –Pune). The area is approachable by metalled road via Ayamangala which is about 180 km from Bangalore.

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Pillow Lava, Iron ore belt, Nomira, Keonjhar District, Orissa is an exposure of well-preserved pillow structures. Individual pillows are roughly ellipsoidal and closely packed with a maximum thickness of 2m x 0.6m. The basic lava is fine to medium grained, green to bluish green coloured with abundant vesicles filled with quartz. The lavas and the associated pyroclastics and tuffs are underlain by quartzite and overlain by shale, chart – shale and banded hematite jasper.
The area is located about 18 km south of Joda town lying on Keonjhar – Barbil – Lahunipada state highway. The monument can be approached from Joda by following Joda Nayagar road upto Bamebari and then following a 2 km unmetalled road leading eastward up to Nomira.

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Pyroclastic Rocks

Pyroclastic Rocks in Peddapalli, Kolar district, Karnataka. The Peddapalli village is about 700 m. east of the road connecting Kolar Gold Field with the Bangarpet – Betmangala road. The outcrop is best approached by the road and taking the southerly diversion near the 10 km stone for about one km. The outcrop is on the NW corner of the village.

The term 'pyroclastic' literally means broken by fire. The particles ejected from a volcano during explosive activity vary considerably in size and composition. All these ejected material consolidate to form pyroclastic rocks.

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Here is a welded agglomerate of large fragments of granite, granite gneiss, basalt and banded ferruginous quartzite set in a matrix of ignimbrite. While many rock fragments are angular some of them appear to be well rounded. Some rock fragments of granite gneiss measure upto 80 cm in diameter.

   

 
Nepheline Syenite

Nepheline Syenite, Kishangarh, Ajmer District, Rajasthan is a pluton emplaced along the core of an antiform of metamorphites in Aravalli craton of Rajasthan. Kishangarh syenite, by which the unit is also called has been dated 1590 million years to 1910 million years.

Kishangarh is situated on NH-8 and is about 26 km northeast of Ajmer and is also connected by Western Railway Main line. The monument is about 500 m after the bypass bifurcation of Kishangarh towards Jaipur on NH-8. The area of interests extends upto Gundu Rao Talav.

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Barr Conglomerate

Barr Conglomerate, Pali District, Rajasthan composed of pebbles of quartzite and rarely granite gneiss, set up in a fine grained pelitic matrix. It rests unconformably above the basement gneiss in the vicinity of Barr. Conglomerates are important in geology as they aid in subdividing geologic history on the basis of sedimentary breaks The conglomerate is best exposed on either side of the Bewar – Sendra – Barr – Pali road but just before Barr – Pali cross road towards Sendra. The pebbles are stretched to an extraordinary extent, about 20 to 30 times its original dimension.

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Welded Tuff

Welded Tuff, Jodhpur District, Rajasthan in the Jodhpur Fort hill area occurs within the terrace like weathered Malani volcanics.

The welded tuff, is a product of emanations, that spurted out from volcanic vents and were carried away by air to settle down. They are composed of glass, quartz and feldspar. On cooling they develop joints which which gives rise to columns and terraces.

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The Malani rhyolites comprise pink, maroon, brown, purple, grey and green rhyolite separated by tuff, welded tuff and pyroclastic rocks. The columnar joints developed are rectangular to hexagonal, attaining a length of 30m or more at places. It is overlain by deep purple coloured porphyritic rhyolite.The pyroclastics are intermixed with lava representing the final phase of emanations.

Jodhpur is situated SW of Jaipur and is well connected by State Highways. The Northern Railway Main Line and Northern Railway Phalodi Branch passes through Jodhpur Town. It is also approachable by air. The welded tuff outcrop is about 100 m on the right side of the road before the Mehrangarh Fort while proceeding from the town.


 

 
Charnockite

Charonockite, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai is a typical exposure of quartz-feldspar-hypersthene rock, characterized by presence of two pyroxene facies metamorphism. The name ‘Charnockite' originated from the use of the same rock as tombstone of Job Charnock, the founder of Kolkata. The constituents of the rock suggest of its origin in particularly 'dry' and high temperature condition and believed to have important bearing in elucidating primordial crustal evolution of the earth.

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Lonar Lake

Lonar Lake, Buldana District, Maharastra is a nearly circular crater, suspected to have developed due to impact of a large meteorite on Deccan Basaltic rocks of Cretaceous age. A meteorite is a recovered fragment of natural object orbiting in space, that has survived transit through the earth's atmosphere. Such hypervelocity large meteoritic impacts on earth produces craters. Approximately 130 terrestrial craters are currently recognised, ranging in size up to several hundred kilometers in diameter and age upto 2 Ga. The Lonar Crater has an average diameter of 1710 m, average rimheight of 40 m and depth of 230 – 245 m. The circular depression bears a saline water lake in its central portion.

The area is located just SW of Lonar town which is linked to Mehkar and Buldana by road. Lonar is about 90 km SE of Buldana. The nearest railhead is at Parbhani, 100 km SSE of Lonar.

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Eddy Current Markings

Eddy Current Markings at Panchmahal District, Gujarat are exposed in sedimentary (sandstone) surface of Upper Aravalli Lunavada Group of rocks. These marks are believed to result from dragging of a small limb of a larger floating log caught in a vortex or eddy current of a stream or from a movement of a pebble. The petrified marks of the eddies around the whirl balls, form spiralribs.
The area is located on the left bank of the Kadama Dam, Panchmahal district, at about 600 m downstream (southeast) on the right side of the approach road to the querry sites. The Kadama Dam is linked to the main towns of Rajasthan and Gujarat by roads and can be approached via Kherwara (NH-8). The nearest railheads are Dungarpur and Lunavada via Gothra.

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Natural Arch

Natural Arch in Tirumala hills, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh. Geological agents like wind, water, ice act continuously on the rocks to erode and transport the disintegrated rock materials, bringing out marvellous changes in landscape. Natural Arch is one such unique geological marvel in the country measuring 8 metres in width and 3 metres in height. It has been curved out of quartzite of Cuddapah Supergroup of Middle to Upper Proterozoic (1600 to 570 Ma) by collective action of weathering agents like water and wind over a long period of several thousands of years.

Natural Arches of this kind are a rarity. The Rainbow Arch of Utah in the USA and the the one in the Dalradian Quartzite are the other examples.

Tirumala hills, Chittoor district is situated 10 km northwest of Tirupati town on Srikalahasti – Chittoor state highway. The Tirupati – Renigunta loop line connects it to the Chennai-Vijayawada main line of the South Central Railway.


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Sendra Granite

Sendra Granite, Pali District, Rajasthan. It is a unique example of natures' capacity as a sculptor. Sendra granite, a plutonic igneous rock of about 900 m. y. ago, intrudes into the Delhi Supergroup of metasedimentary rocks. Large bosses are concordantly emplaced in the calc – gneiss while small bodies are mostly distributed in and around the hornblende schists.

Wind and water acting over thousands of years, has sculpted the granite into marvellous structures that have inspired man through ages.
The area is located on the Sendra – Pali Road and is exposed on either side of NH-8 near Sendra. Ajmer – Ahmedabad Section of Western Railway passes through this granite massif.





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Monuments of Stratigraphic Significance

Eparchaean Unconformity, Tirumala hills, Andhra Pradesh separates the Proterozoic Nagari Quartzite from the oldest Archaean granite representing a time gap of over 800 Ma. The unconformity is supposed to be a period of remarkable quiescence without much structural disturbance and igneous activity in the history of earth. The contact is exposed in the Tirumala Hills, located 10 km northwest of Tirupatitown, at the 12 km point on the Tirupati – Tirumala Ghat road, Chitoor district,A.P. The Tirupati – Ranigunta loopline connects it to the Chennai – Vijayawada mainline of the South Central Railway.

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Jodhpur Group – Malani Igneous Suite Contact, Jodhpur District, Rajasthan lies at the foot of the picturesque Mehrangarh Fort within the Jodhpur city. The igneous suite marks the last phase of igneous activity of Precambrian age in the Indian Subcontinent. The rock is characterised by purple to red and ash coloured laminated tuff with chocolate coloured chalcedony, dark red obsidian, purple, reddish, buff, whitish and greyish coloured rhyolitic tuff related to ignimbrite. The contact is enhanced by the multi-coloured igneous suite in contact with light coloured Jodhpur sandstone.
Jodhpur is situated SW of Jaipur and is well connected by State Highways. The Northern Railway Main Line and Northern Railway Phalodi Branch passes through Jodhpur Town. Jodhpur is also approachable by air.


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Great Boundary Fault at Satur, Bundi district, Rajasthan is characterised by a faulted boundary between Pre-Aravallis and Upper Vindhyans having NNW – SSE trend. It represents a zone of disruption constituted by a number of parallel and oblique faults resulting in a step like feature. Deformed limestone at the site is worth viewing.The Great Boundary Fault is best studied at about 10 km NW of Bundi on Jaipur Road.

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Monuments of economic significance

Laterite in Angadipuram, Malappuram district, Kerala has been derived from acid charnockite. The crystalline rocks of this region are an admixture of pyroxene granulite, charnockite and migmatite. The laterite here occurs at an average elevation of 60 m above m.s.l. Laterite is significant from the economic angle since mineral deposits of aluminium ore (bauxite), iron ore and nickel ore are known to be associated with them. The monument is located about 16 km from Malappuram on the road to Palghat and lies on the Shoranur – Nilambur railway line. It is located within the premises of the PWD rest house.

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Bedded Barytes of Mangampeta, Cuddapah district, Andhra Pradesh, one of the largest baryte deposits of the world, is considered to have formed through precipitation from volcanic vapours under submarine conditions and sub aerial showering of ash and molten baryte lapilli. The deposit occurs in the Pullampet Formation of the Nallamalai Group of the Cuddapah Supergroup. The lower beds of Mangampeta Barytes are of the highest grade and often occur as pure barium sulphate. It has a reserve of over 74 million tonnes that constitutes about 98% and 28% of the total known reserve of India and the world respectively.
The Kurnool – Ranigunta state highway passes through the Mangampeta mines area. The nearest Railway station is about 10 km away at Koduru on the Kurnool – Tirupati line of the South Central Railway.


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Gossan, Rajpura – Dariba, Rajsamand District, Rajasthan led to rediscovery of Rajpura – Dariba mineralised zone. It has formed due to extensive chemical weathering and pervasive oxidation of the suplhides – sulphosalts ore bodies through prolonged geological periods under favourable climatic condition. The gossans show a variety of colours including reddish brown, brown, dark brown, bluish green, white and grey and also different type of boxworks. The chief ore minerals are sphalerite, galena and chalcopyrite. Zinc is the dominant base metal followed by lead and copper.
The gossan is located between Dariba and Rajpura villages in Rajsamand district over a length of 4.5 km with 2 to 40 m width and 15 km NNE of Fatehnagar Railway station on Chittor – Udaipur section of Western Railway.

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